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Luke Brannagan
Luke Brannagan

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Microrepos vs. Monorepo: Understanding the Differences 🥷🏻

Welcome to this blog post where we'll explore the differences between Microrepos and Monorepo. As I delve into the topic, I'll solidify my knowledge and share valuable insights with you. So, let's embark on this journey together!


Let's begin by understanding what a Microrepo is. Essentially, a Microrepo refers to a specific service of an application that has been separated from other services. These services work together to create a unified application, rather than existing as standalone repositories.

While examining Microrepos, we uncover some intriguing benefits:


  • Clear separation: Each microservice resides in its own repository, ensuring distinct boundaries between services.

  • Independent deployment: Microservices can be deployed individually, enabling faster release cycles and reducing dependencies between services.

  • Autonomy: Each team responsible for a microservice has full control over its development, testing, and deployment processes.

  • Flexibility: Different services can use diverse technologies or programming languages based on their specific requirements.

However, alongside these benefits, some challenges also arise:


  • Increased complexity: Managing multiple repositories for each microservice introduces additional complexity in terms of repository organization, version control, and dependency management. It requires careful coordination and may demand a more sophisticated tooling setup.

  • Communication and coordination overhead: With Microrepos, different development teams may work on separate repositories, potentially leading to communication and coordination challenges. Synchronizing changes and ensuring compatibility between microservices can become intricate, necessitating effective collaboration and communication channels.

  • Deployment and testing overhead: Deploying and testing multiple microservices individually can be more time-consuming and resource-intensive compared to a monolithic deployment. Ensuring the compatibility and integration of all services during the deployment process may require additional effort and thorough testing procedures.

  • Dependency duplication: Each microservice typically has its own set of dependencies. With Microrepos, there is a possibility of duplicated dependencies across different repositories. This can result in increased storage requirements and potential difficulties in managing and updating dependencies consistently.


Now, let's shift our focus to Monorepo, which stands in stark contrast to Microrepos. In a Monorepo, the entire code base is stored within a single repository, along with all related dependencies.

Let's explore the advantages of a Monorepo:


  • Centralized codebase: All the code for an application is stored in a single repository, making it easier to manage and maintain.

  • Shared dependencies: Components and libraries can be shared among different parts of the application, promoting code reuse.

  • Consistent development environment: Developers have a unified view of the entire codebase, facilitating collaboration and enabling consistent testing and debugging.

  • Simplified refactoring: When making changes that span multiple services, refactoring and maintaining consistency becomes easier within a Monorepo.

However, Monorepos also present some challenges:


  • Increased repository size: With a Monorepo, the entire codebase is stored in a single repository, which can lead to a significant increase in its size over time. Large repositories can impact the performance of version control systems and make cloning or updating the repository time-consuming.

  • Coupling of components: In a Monorepo, all components of an application are tightly coupled within the same repository. Changes made to one component can potentially impact other components, making it essential to exercise caution and thorough testing when modifying shared code or dependencies.

  • Build and test times: As the codebase grows, the build and test times for the entire Monorepo can increase. Even small changes may trigger full rebuilds and retesting processes for the entire application, leading to longer development cycles and slower feedback loops.

  • Limited technology flexibility: In a Monorepo, all components of the application

share the same technology stack and dependencies. This can limit the flexibility of choosing different technologies or programming languages for specific components or services, which may be necessary for certain use cases or teams with different expertise.

  • Collaboration challenges: With a Monorepo, all developers work within the same repository, potentially leading to conflicts and challenges when multiple developers make changes simultaneously. Resolving merge conflicts can be time-consuming and requires effective coordination and communication among team members.

  • Security risks: In a Monorepo, access controls and permissions need to be carefully managed to ensure that only authorized individuals have access to sensitive parts of the codebase. Misconfigurations or lapses in access control can pose security risks and potentially expose the entire codebase to unauthorized access.


Clearly, both Microrepos and Monorepo have their pros and cons, and choosing the right approach depends on the specific context of the application you're building.

Opinionated Perspective

As a front-end developer, I personally lean towards favoring the use of Microrepos more often. The flexibility and independent releases offered by Microrepos are powerful advantages compared to the typical Monorepo structure. However, it's important to address concerns related to excessive service splitting, which can be avoided through careful consideration and strong collaboration within the team. Each decision to split services should account for the additional overhead it introduces to the entire application, including testing, releases, and other factors.

❗️ A really good read about over sharding can be found here

with the recent split from amazon prime video going from microservices -> monorepo

Now that we have explored the nuances of Microrepos and Monorepo, you can make an informed decision based on your project requirements and trade-offs.

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